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why devait la cacher and not avait du cacher , I though the first meant " supposed to " and teh latter " had to?

ElizabethC1Kwiziq community member

why devait la cacher and not avait du cacher , I though the first meant " supposed to " and teh latter " had to?

Asked 1 week ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Elizabeth, 

The verb devoir in the imparfait, 'devait' doesn't always mean 'was supposed to' and in this context, it wouldn't make any sense. Here it is plain had to :

ma mère devait la cacher = my mother had to hide it 

if you had said in a particular situation: 

ma mère avait dû bien la cacher car on ne l'a jamais retrouvée = my mother must have hidden it very well because we never found it again 

totally different tense (pluperfect) and meaning.

Hope this helps!

JimC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Elizabeth,

I would like to help but cannot locate the actual text that you are querying.

Please can you provide a direct link and I will see if I can make a valid comment?

Jim

MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

This is 'had to' in English as in 'needed to/was required to' in order for something else to happen, rather than 'the having/possessing of something'.

In this context 'devoir' is appropriate in French. If 'avoir' was used here, it would require 'avoir besoin de' - and this is likely a bit 'strong' for this situation.

why devait la cacher and not avait du cacher , I though the first meant " supposed to " and teh latter " had to?

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